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September 12, 2010 1:28 PM Subscribe
I need to go to the dentist. But, I have a phobia of injections. Not going isn't really an option, so what can I do?
posted by mippy to Health & Fitness (45 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Background: it has not always been thus. I've had operations as a child (stitches in scalp, burst appendix, etc). I was on Depo Provera for three years, after which a brief experiment with the Pill got me an injection in my stomach - I was more concerned with getting something to eat than the needle. I had a blood test at 21, which was fine until I fainted what with it being the first time. I've even had a root canal when I was sixteen, and was fine with it too.
I last went to the dentist three years ago. I had an examination, and came back to get something looked at. I was nervous that morning, couldn't eat, drank some juice in case I needed something in my stomach. The dentist got the needle out, got impatient with me, and I panicked and threw up all over the chair. I left vomiting and shaking. I have never reacted like that to anything medical before - the closest was having an IUD fitted but that was very very painful.
Since then, I've had to have a few blood tests. The first one, I lay down on the table and tried to relax, but by the time they decided to draw blood from my hand (I have difficult to find veins, and the more they prodded, the more scared i got) - I was lying on the examination couch sobbing and shaking. I was sent to the local health centre - I fainted. Eventually I went back with MrMippy, and then I learned that if I concentrated on a magazine, it didn't feel so bad - but it's hard to do this when it's in my mouth.
I need to get something looked at so I need to get over this. I know general anaesthetic is one option but it isn't available on the NHS - privately it is very expensive and many dentists aren't keen as it is risky. Also, that would help in the short term but I want to start taking better care of my teeth. I don't know where this came from, I know I need to get things done so it is irrational, and if I can't feel the drill I don't care about that. It seems to be the needle. I keep telling myself that people have been having injections for years, that there is no extra medical risk and the anaesthetic won't travel down my bloodstream and stop my heart, that some people have to inject themselves every day, that the pain of the injection is much better than the pain of dental problems or further medical problems etc, but rationalizing it isn't helping.
I've been trying watching House to see if seeing injections would help but I still get very tense and frightened and also it doesn't seem the same as actually being there.